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Developer Plans An Arts Center In An Old Renault Factory In The Middle Of The Seine

Feb 7, 2017

Will the latest plans for Île Seguin finally turn it into a key Paris culture destination?
Architectural rendering of the new S17 & S18 art hub proposed for the Île Seguin in Paris (© Baumschlager Eberle Architectes et RCR arquitectes)

The property developer Emerige group plans to build an extensive art centre and 13,000 sq. m art hotel on Île Seguin, an island in the western suburbs of Paris that once housed the Renault car factory. The new development, called S17 & S18, will transform the former industrial site into “one of the biggest cultural hubs in Europe”, says a spokeswoman for the Emerige.

The S17 centre will show contemporary art drawn from the collection of Laurent Dumas, the founder of Emerige, whose 1,300-strong holdings include works by Anselm Kiefer and Pierre Soulages. Jérôme Sans, the former director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, will be responsible for programming at the new centre, which will be designed by the Catalan architects RCR Arquitectes. 

According to a project statement, “cultural partners close to Emerige are working to develop collaborative projects” at the art centre. These include the Fondation Giacometti in Paris and the Geneva-based Fondation Gandur pour l’Art.

Works by French contemporary artists will go on show in every room of the 220-room S18 hotel, which will be designed by the Austrian architecture practice Baumschlager Eberle. The “one bedroom, one work” scheme developed by Emerige will raise the profile of young French artists, the spokeswoman adds. 

Construction at the site is due to begin next year, and is scheduled for completion in 2021. The redevelopment is solely funded by Emerige. The Boulogne-Billancourt council, which oversees the island, has thrown its weight behind the initiative.